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Syracuse Stuns Penn State Field Hockey 4-1 To Open NCAA Tournament

No. 4 Penn State field hockey (14-6, 6-2 Big Ten) faced off against No. 10 Syracuse (9-8 4-6 ACC) in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Friday afternoon at the University of Maryland.

Syracuse maximized its time on offense and was able to strike first against Penn State, and the Orange never looked back en route to a massive 4-1 win. Turnovers and struggles on offense were Penn State’s worst enemy in this devastating upset.

How It Happened

The first quarter saw a lot of dominance from Syracuse on the offensive side, but Penn State was able to uphold its solid defense and prevent any score. Spisak saw a breakaway towards the end of the quarter but was unable to get it in the goal. This left the score 0-0 at the end of the first quarter.

The intensity ramped up in the second quarter when Syracuse got the first score of the game at the 12:03 mark by Claire Cooke to give the Orange a 1-0 lead. Syracuse acquired three more penalty corners, but Penn State’s Brie Barraco was able to hold them off with three much-needed blocks.

The third quarter opened with more promise from the Nittany Lions when their offense came out hot on Syracuse’s side of the field. However, the attention swiftly changed back to the Orange.

At the 8:55 mark, Syracuse found success again off of a penalty corner, but it was quickly waved off by the officials.

Penn State saw another opportunity to score when it received five penalty corners in a row, but each was stopped by the Syracuse defense. The Orange capitalized on this momentum when they drove down the field on the next play and scored one again, this time by Hailey Bitters, to take a 2-0 lead.

Syracuse found itself on offense once again with another penalty corner at the 4:52 mark. The Orange were able to further their lead 3-0 with a goal from Willie Boogert. Another Penn State penalty corner at the end of the third was once again deflected.

The Nittany Lions finally got an offensive break when Sophia Gladieux was able to score with 13:37 left in the fourth quarter, cutting Penn State’s deficit to 3-1. This was her 17th goal of the season and first of the NCAA Tournament.

On Syracuse’s fifth penalty corner of the day, Eefke Van Den Nieuwenhof scored the fourth goal for the Orange, ultimately setting the team up for a 4-1 win.

Player Of The Game

Brooke Borzymowski | Goalie

Besides giving up a goal to Sophia Gladieux, Syracuse goalie Brooke Borsymowski was unstoppable in front of the net. Her highlight of the game was the five consecutive penalty corner stops against Penn State in the third quarter.

What’s Next?

The Nittany Lions were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament and have concluded their 2021 season. Thanks for following along, folks. We’ll see you again next fall!

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About the Author

Mara McKeon

Mara is a freshman staff-writer majoring in English and Public Relations. She loves all things sports and anything that has peanut butter. You can usually find her obsessing over country music. Feel free to reach her on Twitter @MckeonMara and for more formal affairs her email is [email protected]

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